IUCN Species of the Day: Lined Seahorse

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)

Photo credit: ACJ Vincent/Project Seahorse


The Lined Seahorse, Hippocampus erectus, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is the most commonly recognised species of seahorse, and can be found from Nova Scotia, Canada, along the east coast of North America and down to Brazil, as well as throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Over the past several decades, the Lined Seahorse has come under extreme pressure from harvesting and loss of habitat. Every year, thousands of individuals are caught and sold in the aquarium trade and are increasingly being exported to China as traditional medicine. This species is also threatened by habitat destruction and by-catch in shrimp trawlers. As a result, it is estimated that the Lined Seahorse population has declined by at least 30% in the past 10 years.

Hippocampus erectus and other species in the genus Hippocampus have been listed under Appendix II of CITES since 2002, and there is strong monitoring of their harvest in the United States. Unfortunately, however, there is still widespread destruction and harvesting of this species.


Geographic Range of the Lined Seahorse

Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™


To learn more about the Lined Seahorse, click here.  Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.

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To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.